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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    26 September  2012

Malaysia set to become Asean’s Rail mfg hub


Malaysia is set to become Asean's rail manufacturing hub with the setting up of the first rail centre in the region.

China's largest metro vehicle manufacturer, China Southern Rail Group, yesterday inked a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the Malaysian government to set up shop in Batu Gajah, Perak, also their first centre outside China.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who witnessed the signing of the MoA said he was certain the 400 million ringgit (US$130.35 million) centre would become the catalyst for growth for industries involved in railway technology in Malaysia.

“I am hopeful that it will be a pivotal nerve centre in providing the technical know-how and transfer of technology to Malaysians working at the centre while also generating jobs and business opportunities,” he said.

He said in 10 years, there would be a demand for 250 new units of rail cars and locomotives in Malaysia while the demand from Asean and the Middle East was expected to touch 2,900 units.

“This is a massive new market and I fervently hope a certain percentage will be fulfilled at the CSR Rail Centre,” he said.
The complex, named CSR Rolling Stock Centre (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, will be operated by a CSR Group subsidiary, CSR ZhuZhou Electric Locomotive Co Ltd (CSR ZELC), and is expected to provide 800 jobs.

“The plant is expected to build 100 to 150 new train cars each year and refurbish another 150.

“It will help boost economic growth, create jobs and greatly enhance the capacity of high-end rail equipment manufacturing in Malaysia,” said CSR Group vice-president Fu Jianguo.

Transport Ministry's secretary-general Long See Wool and CSR ZELC executive director and president Xu Zongxiang signed the MoA.

Transport Minister Kong Cho Ha, Perak Mentri Besar Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and the Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Chai Xi also witnessed the signing.

The centre, which is scheduled to start operating in 2014, will be located on 20.23 hectares of leased land.

CSR ZELC recently provided 38 sets of six-car rolling stock for KTM Berhad's MyKomuter train services.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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